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Union have plenty of chips to play on SuperDraft day in Philly

Jan 15, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT

source:

Georgetown’s Steve Neumann — here at last week’s MLS Combine — is an interesting draft target for the Union, since he’s a Council Rock North graduate and his family holds Union season tickets. He’s already expressed a desire to play at PPL Park.

So, any news out there on the Union front?

It’s been a weird 24 hours for the Union, what with trading their best center back for another center back and trying to sign a high-priced star only to have the league say they can’t.

The Maurice Edu saga is not complete as of this writing, and may not be over by Thursday at noon when the 2014 Major League Soccer SuperDraft kicks off at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. That, in and of itself, is a shame. A shame because of course it would be nice to unveil Edu in front of what should be a throng of Union fans, but mostly because the Edu situation will impact what the Union do with their eight (EIGHT!) draft picks.

However, while WE may not know the conclusion of the Edu situation, I have to think Nick Sakiewicz and John Hackworth will at least have an idea how it will shake out before the draft. So from that standpoint, we’ll just have to wait and see.

With that in mind, a few quick-hitters on Thursday’s draft as well as one or two other rumors making the rounds:

  • The draft begins at noon at the Pa. Convention Center. If you’re a Union fan who wants an excuse to day drink and have a great time, join the Sons of Ben at the Field House (inside the Convention Center and Market East Station) at 8:30 a.m. Admission to the draft is free. You can also meet the Union draft picks after the draft at the team’s post-party at BRU, a few blocks from the Convention Center.
  • If you can’t make it, the draft will air live at noon on ESPNNews or on the WatchESPN app.
  • As of right now, the Union will pick second and sixth in the first round, followed by picks at No. 25, 27, 44, 46, 52 and 63. I don’t expect the Union to end the day with eight new players, however. Trades will happen.
  • Our friend Dave Zeitlin broke down a few names to look for in the first round. Since college soccer players are not household names, we’ll save your time and really break it down tomorrow after we know for sure who’s coming to town.
  • That being said, if you want to sound like you know your stuff and impress your friends: After trading Jeff Parke Tuesday, I’d expect the Union to take one of the two California center backs — Steve Birnbaum or Christian Dean — with the No. 2 pick. However, if they feel like one of them — or another defender they like — might fall to No. 6, maybe they take a chance on Maryland forward Patrick Mullins at No. 2. Mullins is a two-time reigning Hermann Trophy winner (soccer’s Heisman) and, as Jay Bilas would say, likely has the greatest “upside” in the draft. He’d also be the 643rd Maryland grad on the roster.
  • source:

    Steve Neumann

    An interesting name on the board is midfielder Steve Neumann from Georgetown. Neumann is a Council Rock North graduate whose family has Union season tickets. He has said he would love to play for the Union, and that is not a factor I would take lightly if I were John Hackworth. A desire to play here and a comfort level here are not unimportant. Also: His mustache game is absolutely on point (see right).

  • A phrase you might hear a lot is “Generation adidas.” This year, there are seven Generation adidas players in the draft. These are promising young players who have already agreed to contracts with the league. Why does this matter? If you draft one of these guys, his salary DOES NOT COUNT toward your salary cap for at least a year or two, until a player “graduates” from the program by playing enough minutes, etc. Christian Dean and Patrick Mullins ARE Generation adidas players. Birnbaum and Neumann are not. Just keep that in mind.
  • source:

    Don Garber

    If the league’s apparent “blocking” of the Edu deal turns out to be true, MLS Commissioner Don Garber shouldn’t count on an especially warm welcome from the Sons of Ben on Thursday. We’ve included a handy picture of Mr. Garber, in case you wish to boo him on the Broad Street Line.

In non-draft and non-Edu news:

  1. Tom - Jan 15, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Isn’t holding the draft at the Convention Center overkill? Wouldn’t a phone booth be more appropriate for this?

    Reply
    • Steve Dore - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      Dude, you might be the first person in the history of the internet to get pwned by spam.

      Reply
      • 33 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        love it

  2. Connor - Jan 16, 2014 at 3:16 AM

    Can we stop pretending people care about the Union? And if in some other part of Philadelphia I’ve never heard of they actually do, can we just give them their own website? I understand that there’s not a lot going on in Philly sports other than the Flyers and Villanova basketball (which doesn’t get enough love on the Level for a #6 team nationally), but can we stop being politically correct and go back to having just four relevant sports?

    Reply
    • Brad - Jan 16, 2014 at 7:32 AM

      Just skip the article if it bothers you that much. Don’t be stupid about it. Your comment just makes you sound like an ignorant fool who can’t appreciate that people have other interests outside of your own.

      Reply
    • Steve Dore - Jan 16, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      Can we stop pretending people care about Villanova? And if in some other part of Philadelphia I’ve never heard of they actually do, can we just give them their own website? I understand that there’s not a lot going on in Philly sports other than the Flyers and LaSalle basketball (which doesn’t get enough love on the Level for making the Sweet 16 last year), but can we stop being politically correct and go back to only covering teams that play in Philly?

      Reply
    • 33 - Jan 16, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      It has nothing to do with being politically correct. Your belief that it does only scratches the surface of how little you understand the world around you.

      Someone wanted to write this, others wanted to read it. You’re neither of the people. Go do something you enjoy with your time, if you can find something you enjoy more than complaining.

      Reply
    • willh888 - Jan 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      I don’t know Connor, when the Union pack 18,000 fans into their stadium (higher than the Sixers), that’s not people being politically correct, that’s just dudes lovin’ their team

      Reply
  3. Tom - Jan 16, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    “… go back to having just four relevant sports?”
    We do have just four relevant sports, soccer is not relevant.

    Reply

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